A Toolkit For Baby-Proofing Your Home, by Kari Clarke
For most couples, preparing for the arrival of a new baby means totally re-organizing the house to make safety a top priority. According to a 2019 report, 72% of child injuries are caused by safety accidents in the home. However, the steps to baby-proofing a home are relatively straightforward and can be easily made when before your little bundle of joy arrives. By working your way through each room with a clear mind, you can minimize the risk of any accidents and make sure your home passes all safety tests.
One Room At A Time
Begin by examining possible safety risks for infants room-by-room, including hallways and landings, to break up the task into sizable chunks. Protect power outlets (including power strips) with child protector covers that your child can’t remove from the socket. You will also need to section off fireplaces and radiators, as many children are understandably drawn to sources warm temperatures during wintertime. Of course, any source of running water is a potential hazard for small children, so it’s a good idea to use a toilet lock and non-slip mats for baths to minimize the risk of a fall.
Pay Attention to The Kitchen
Safety precautions should be implemented throughout the home, but the kitchen has the most obvious kitchen fire and safety risks for most families. Keep your electrical appliances, such as kettles, unplugged and stored in the cupboards away from an infant’s reach. Besides electrical appliances, it’s important to think about cleaning supplies that contain hazardous chemicals: keep your cleaning supplies in a higher-shelf cabinet instead of near the floor. You will want to install baby gates above and below the stairs. Depending on your home, it may also be a good idea to install gates into the kitchen and nursery. Finally, when hiring a nanny or babysitter, it’s a good idea to walk them through the house and point out your safety precautions so that they are up to speed with how you operate.
Nursery Dos and Don’ts
The most important aspect of childproofing your baby’s nursery is, of course, the crib and/or bed. Across the globe, many governments are banning drop down cribs due to the risk of suffocation. Instead, look for models that do not leave a gap between the crib frame and mattress. Apart from bedding, it’s a good idea to install window locks in your child’s bedroom child locks on drawers, storage, etc. Keep the crib accessories to a minimum: it’s temping as a new parent to dot the crib with toys and plush animals for the baby, but these are actually choking hazards. In fact, your baby will sleep better with a mobile overhead and no frills in the crib.
Baby-proofing the house is one of the more stressful aspects to welcoming a new baby, but even challenging homes can be accommodated to welcome your family’s newest addition. Over time, you will gain a sense as a parent of the risks posed by your house and how to mitigate them for your newborn.